Two Years of Permaculture Application


Hi, Geoff Lawton here, and I’m at the Greening the Desert site, and behind me is Abla’s place,
something quite special. Two years of permaculture application in this dry arid landscape by a student of ours who’s
just taken the system, and she’s applied it, and
made it part of her life. So we get a good view
from up here on the roof, let’s go and have a look
from her roof looking down. So here I am up on the
roof of Abla’s house. And you can see that this
landscape’s quite contrast to the surrounding landscape. You can see what Abla started with, and what she has now, it’s quite dramatically different. Across the road of course is our site, the Greening the Desert
site, which is 10 years old, and this beautiful little garden that’s springing into life
is only two years old. Let me take you for a
walk through the garden, and give you my view of it, and then we get on to the
superstar herself, Abla, and she can explain what
she thinks about it. Let’s go. Now straightaway when I
turned around on the roof, I can see rampant perennial
sweet potato vine, which is great shade cover here coming up, springing out of the nursery below. So let’s just have a look down. Her nursery is quite amazing. This little shaded site down there is on the north side of the house, and she’s shading it
with natural vine cover, and the vines are going
to cover the whole roof, and create incredible
insulation in the end. It’s coming up over her water-tanks, and this is her drinking water here, which of course gets delivered in this particular climate and landscape, but also she’s got a rainwater-tank. Down there is a rainwater-tank
that runs off a roof runoff. Of course it only runs in winter, but she saves quite a
few tanks full of water which helps her irrigation of the garden, even in the winter there has
to be some drip irrigation. Let’s have a quick look at
this beautiful little nursery, which is the real
incubator of the project. I can see it’s nicely shaded, and she’s got recycled timber, which is mostly brick pallets as shelving. Her principle is if you’ve
got it for free, use it, and most of her plants now
come from her own cuttings, her own seed, seeds she’s been given, cuttings she’s been given, and she’s bought one or two plants, but really, a lot of it is
actually her own material now, and the shade is growing
itself over the top which will really air condition the house, and cut down on her energy requirement. So going back to her
gabion walled back garden, she has gabion baskets. She’s filled all the rocks
herself as mostly her boundary. Here’s her back garden. It’s full of ground cover herbs. She’s got a guava there. She’s got lots and lots of leucaena. She’s recently done a chop and drop. So these were the first ones she chop and dropped a few weeks ago, and they’ve already grown back. There’s another guava. Here’s lots of basil. She’s now got a back gate ’cause they’ve actually put
a little dirt road in behind, so that wasn’t here before,
but she has a back gate Little bit of storage, stone walls, and here’s her little veranda that looks out towards
the Palestinian West Bank, which of course is the homeland
of the Palestinian people. So she loves sitting
here in the partial shade looking out towards
her heritage landscape. So here we go, we’ve
got more and more vines. Now we’ve got olive trees. We’ve got moringa, more basil. Got a Watsonia palm. Here’s your classic pollarded
chop and dropped leucaena, and she started at the back, and by the time, she said
when she got to the front, the back had already regrown. There’s a beautiful poinciana. It’ll be a gorgeous feature in the future. More vines, I can see sunflowers. I can see a gardenia. And there’s little
swale vegetable gardens. These little swale vegetable gardens give her all the vegetables
she needs, and all the herbs, and they go right the
way through the garden. Moringa are popping up everywhere. Here’s a false olive, Parkinsonia, what an incredibly hardy
tree that little guy is. Not a legume but a great
performer of mulch production. Here you have more guavas. Really rich little garden here. Even arrowroot and there is a mango. How cheeky is that? Apparently she’s got three. So this is pretty lush. She’s got an evaporative
unglazed pot there, so she’s got cool water in the garden giving off cool air from
the evaporating water coming through the unglazed terra cotta. That’s a very traditional
way to keep water cool. There a cassia legume. There’s a chili plant there. There’s bougainvillea. There’s all kinds of things
here that’s really happening. She’s got this little patio where she can also sit in the shade, and here’s her first
micro swale, more moringa, and we’ve got an albizia
lebbeck right in front of me. That’ll be a large
long-term legume in the end. Of course we’ve got this high shade. She really listens to the lesson here. Got the high shade plants, high shade vines going
up and around everything. There’ll really be extra
shade here in the end. Here’s a fig and it’s fruiting. Got a few figs coming on, so
I think she counts every one. An agave. She got little sunjewels in pots. More bougainvillea, moringa, and a recently coppiced leucaena. And on it goes. Micro swale after micro
swale down the hill trapping water, soaking
water, adding mulch. Nearly all the mulch comes
from the property now. So we’ve got more and more fruit trees. There’s tecoma stans over there, which is a great mulch producer. There’s another poinciana, and another albizia lebbeck. And there’s that neem
tree right in front of me. There’s actually lots of citrus. And I can see another gardenia. So we’ve formed little
terraces around rocks that have been too big to move. There’s another citrus there. There’s a mango in here
looking quite good. Look at that. It’s got growth tips on it. I think that’s quite cheeky, anyway. There we go. A beautiful albizia lebbeck going up here. More citrus, another neem, and then more micro terraces. Along we go, we’re getting close
to the ladies downhill now. We’ve got citrus again. It’s just going off. Look, here’s a casuarina,
another nitrogen fixer, and phosphate accumulator from fungi. Here’s a kumquat. A date palm. Oh, I missed the big date palm of course. Dominating over the system is
one of the large date palms we’ve been able to help her source. So she put that in at quite a large size. Going to help the system take off. Olives again. We’ve got new chickens. We’ve even got an AstroTurf chicken house. Never seen one of these, and it’s probably better
insulated than most with that nice thick cover. Little back hatch here for getting eggs, and a deep mulch chicken pen. And we’ve got a nursery that’s being covered by
perennial sweet potato, but there’s also passion fruit starting to climb over the whole thing. Be a passion fruit shaded
nursery in the end. We got lots and lots of
storage of mulches and manures, but also more citrus
next to the worm farms. We’ve got two worm farms,
and they’re firing along. They’ve both got juice. So we’ve got worm juice
fertilizer, worm castings. There’s compost storage. In fact there’s compost
storage everywhere. There’s all kinds of compost. Yep. And there’s paper mulches, and everything you could
imagine has been recycled, and added as soil creation. There’s pomegranates of course. More olives and on we
go through the system. It’s just a little bit of total magic here in the Middle East. And outside, if I look
outside the vine covered fence there’s lots and lots of
recycled brick pallets, which are all being used
for little timber creations. Waste not, want not, that’s for sure. She’s definitely got an
energy efficient system here. Moringa flowering almost
at the front gate. And here you’ve got sugar cane. How about that? What a system. Let’s have a look at
what Abla’s doing here. She’s in the chicken pen right now. Let’s catch up with her, and see what she’s got to say
about this amazing system. Now I’ve just walked around your garden. You’ve let me do it and
I’ve explained a few things, but you give us a tour, tell
us what you’ve got here. The site is small but I have big numbers from cirus,
dates, nitrogen fixers. A lot of amazing things,
so I don’t know what to say but everything I want, I bring it. I start some of it from
seeds, some of it cutting, and as you see. [Geoff] How old’s the garden now? We are going to be in the third year, so it’s two years, six to seven months. [Geoff] You’ve just done
a big chop and drop. Yeah, it was like a crime, chop and drop a lot of
it, I need the mulch, and you know this is the season. [Geoff] Coming to the cooler time. Yeah and I left it like a
stake after three, four days, I start from that point and
you notice that they are coming even better, so they start coming. [Geoff] When was the
last time you had rain? Last year. [Geoff] Last year, so six months? Eight months? It’s a year. [Geoff] Nearly a year. Yeah. [Geoff] And it’s about
to rain again, you think. Yeah, and I was digging that day there, and when I reach about 60 centimeters, 50 centimeters, just under a meter, I found the moisture in
my compost deep inside. You can distinguish between two colors. The dark one with moisture
and the light one, so there is some of the
rain in the compost, and in the ground. [Geoff] When was that? Before, the month I was digging there. I wanted to take things out to plant a tree, so while I digging, I start observing that two colors. So I found the moisture from
the last rain last year. [Geoff] How much work
do you have to do now? My routine, the daily routine, is from sometimes half an hour, one hour if I have a compost
to flip every two days, it will be one hour, but if I don’t have to flip my compost, 15 minutes will be okay. -Every day?
-Yeah yeah. [Geoff] All right, and you’re
getting some vegetables, some herbs? Yeah, everything, I have
vegetables, I have herbs. I have trees for my food. Function, supporter one. Yeah, I think you– [Geoff] And you have eggs? I have chicken, I have eggs. I have a lot of nice things. I have compost, vermicompost. I have worms. So, even I start sorting things. I have a small fridge, deep inside the freezer, I have dates. I have a lot of nice
things when I want them. I use them in my kitchen. [Geoff] And you’re getting
more production all the time? Yeah, even in mulch. At the beginning I was
trying to find mulch outside. But now I have my mulch, I
have my nitrogen and carbon from the place itself. [Geoff] So we’re going to film
it in about five weeks time before we leave, and
it should have regrown from the chop and drop by then. Yeah and you can compare. You will see that. [Geoff] And so what advice
do you have to people who want to do this? They can do it, it’s easy. We need it. If you don’t need it for yourself, do it for your children, if you don’t want to do
it now, when is the time? When we are going to
start doing things for us. It’s for us, not for others. [Geoff] And you’ve done
all of this yourself? Yeah, I do. [Geoff] What about the rock walls? -The terrace and gabion?
-Yeah. I fill it every single stone, I carry it and put it there. [Geoff] And you’re a
retired schoolteacher? Yeah, I escaped from schools,
because I enjoy doing this. I find it amazing. [Geoff] This is better
education for the children, do you think? I’m still educating people, and still teaching people
how to make compost, how to do a lot of amazing things. This is what I need, and
this is what they need, but with passion, with, deep inside you want to do this. I’m happy to do it. And it’s easy, it’s very
easy with the minimum things. [Geoff] Just do it. Just do it as soon as possible. We need it for us on
this planet, we need it. Do it, just do it, start, start, start.

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100 thoughts on “Two Years of Permaculture Application

  1. #ุฃูุนู„ู‡ุง ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ถ

  2. When people ask me what I want to do with my homestead project in South Spain I link Abla's previous video, and I explain It Will be 10 times less difficult because we have 10 times much water. You are such an inspirational person … Best wishes for everyone, specially you, Abla

  3. ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฑ So there your are, in the dessert ๐Ÿค” well you could have fooled me ๐Ÿคฃ So what will happen if we just start growing more stuff ๐Ÿง•๐Ÿป Do you think we could change weater? Do you think a Oasis like this would do well in Cold Climate?

  4. its amazing, with a little rain she has a paradise. we in latinamerica dont work instead of soils and a lot of water

  5. Abla is a real hero to me.. I enjoying talk to her every single day during my PDC there beside you Geoff, Estivan and Sam.. thank you all for being there for us, for earth and humanity..
    And ohh I enjoyed seeing my car in the video ๐Ÿ˜‚
    Thank you

  6. I'm amazed she has so much greenery, with just one additional rainwater tank for the garden. Perhaps the scale helps? As she has a small site. Our garden is much bigger, and could never hydrate the landscape on such little water.

  7. Is amazing how she is creating her own paradise, I wonder why the other neighbors aren't doing what she does, they can turn out the neighborhood in something unique!

  8. Kudos to her for creating this amazing garden and making a difference, and kudos to you, Geoff for teaching people these amazing, and incredibly necessary skills and understandings. Videos like this give me hope for the future!โœŒ๏ธ&โค๏ธ

  9. All I could say is โ€œWOWโ€ when she found moisture under the compost. Amazing. I wish more people would do that here in California.

  10. Did anyone notice how she almost slapped him ? Her eyes tell her true feelings when she tells him how long since the last rain.
    9:55
    Abla: a year
    Geoff: so 6 or 8 months
    Abla: …. a year

  11. She has created top soil and root structure in a very rocky area. When it rains her land will hold more water than the surounding ground. Its impressive stuff what plants micro organisms and fawna do to the ground. This looks like it is going to become even greener over the next few years.

  12. Thank You Geoff, Thank You Abla! I feel so overwhelmed with joy and I am so encouraged to do what I do seeing the wonders of your garden. These are the true miracles right now: creations from the heart and for our own joy and happiness!

  13. First time I saw your work I was living in China and doing translation work for a friend in one of Bejings' Universities. I worked on one of your videos used for teaching. Not long after that, on a visit back home to Jordan I discovered my youngest brother spent time with you in the valley. Over the years since I have studied your work and admire what you have to teach us all. Thank you from all of humanity.

  14. i have 3 acres i started a small garden with my daughter on a slope, the only place my wife would let me and we had a bumper crop of everything you can imagine, that first year, pickles and carrots and potatoes that fed us the whole winter, every year my garden gets a little bigger but 4 years and 3 more duaghters later it barely takes us through the summer, time to just do it

  15. It is great that there is the possibility that Palestine may one day be self sufficient but the thing is to function as a country they'd need to be more than self sufficient they'd need some sort of resource for export to get things they need from elsewhere in the world.

  16. looks at a few flimsy bushes/trees… omg eden on earth…. camera pans over across the road and it looks like a forest compared to hers… hmmm…
    but such a spirit she is, very charismatic

  17. Two years of premature ejaculation cured by building a garden in the desert! You're an inspiration but will this work in the UK?

  18. This will work fine if you received enough rain and had access to water. Unfortunately you buy water limiting the water supply. Raising the cost of water for her neighbors who can least afford the higher cost of water. You are very greedy hurtful people.

  19. Thank you so much for sharing this! It is so beautiful!
    And so beautiful woman)

  20. Geoff, I wonder if the dire situation koalas find themselves in could be much helped with permaculture? I feel that when the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital purchases land for koala habitat, they might be benefit from permaculture techniques to keep koala habitat drought-free and much less prone to deadlier and deadlier bushfires. Perhaps you could reach out to them.

  21. The West Bank, the homeland of the Palestinian people…Well ever since the Jews stole Palestine from them under the nose of the British with the blessing of all the European powers and the US.

  22. Where do I apply to live like this? Youll pay me to create the ultimate permaculture in the middle of nowhere? I'm 26 now, wish I found this when I was 18. Ah well! Still sign me up to thrive!

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